Is defensive tackle really a need for Miami?

With the departure of five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong the general consensus among fans and pundits is that the Miami Dolphins are in desperate need of a defensive tackle. But are they really?

Suh will certainly be a tough act to follow for anyone attempting to fill his shoes, but Miami still has a great deal of talent at the position. Miami used its fifth and sixth-round picks to come away with defensive tackles Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor in the 2017 draft and neither player disappointed as rookies.

Godchaux started five times out of the 15 games he played last season, and contributed 40 tackles and one forced fumble on the season. Taylor played in 13 games as a rookie and posted 18 tackles. Taylor also blocked a field goal attempt by the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8.

Miami also brings back fourth-year defensive tackle Jordan Phillips who is in a contract year. Phillips first three seasons have been underwhelming but he finished the 2017 season strong, proving to be stout at the point of attack, while registering sacks in Weeks 13 and 14.

The Dolphins have also expressed their desire to place defensive end Williams Hayes in a 3-technique on obvious passing downs. Gabe Wright will also receive playing time along the interior of Miami’s defensive line.

The Dolphins have depth at defensive tackle. They have two penetrators in Godchaux and Taylor and a space eater in Phillips. If Miami does add another defensive tackle, it will be one who is capable of taking on double-teams if necessary and it likely won’t be at pick No. 11.

Look for Miami to add depth at the position in the mid-rounds of the 2018 NFL draft.

With marquee names off the board such as Washington’s Vita Vea and Alabama’s Da’Ron Payne, Miami will likely be left to choose between players such as Florida State’s Derrick Nnadi, Arkansas State’s Dee Liner and Lowell Lotulelei who could all be solid rotational players for the Dolphins in 2018.

 

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Brandon Howard joined the Sports Talk Florida team to cover the Miami Dolphins in April 2017 and will work diligently to provide daily Dolphins content and give accurate analysis of the roster, coaching and front office. Last season, Howard was the curator of content for Miami Dolphins Wire/ USA Today while aggregating high school sports results in Broward and Palm Beach counties for the Sun Sentinel. Prior to moving to South Florida Howard developed NFL content for Pro Player Insiders while covering the Cleveland Browns from 2014-2015. Howard, a Columbus, Ohio native graduated from West Virginia in 2004 in Athletic Coaching and Education. He also was a scholarship track and field athlete and walk-on football player. Howard was the 2003 Big East Long and IC4A long jump Champion and was a provisional national qualifier in the event. He also maintained his status as a member of the Athletic Director Academic Honor Roll during his time as a Mountaineer.